StephanieW

Hello other aching hearts,

I am still deep in my grief and learning how to cope with it's sudden surprising swells. I realise that it's process but I wasn't expecting it to halt my daily life so aggressively. I'm prepared to be jolted from one emotion to the next but it drains my will. This is a problem because I work from home as an artist. I can't afford to have my progress on a project/commission be delayed. My livelihood is dependant on me being able to finish my work in a certain time frame but my sadness won't let me. I just want to lie in bed...not all the time but enough to be a problem.

I would appreciate some advice! What are some tips to not be overtaken by haunting memories or despair? How do I permit myself to be sad but still maintain my will to continue working? Is it a matter of distraction?

Thank you so much! I lost my very best friend, I miss him terribly. He is in my avatar, Frinks (at his most handsome)! I am comforted to know I am not alone,thank you to everyone on this forum for taking the time to read this. Any response would be so appreciated and helpful.

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BorderCollieLover
StephanieW:

  I can certainly identify with your plight. I, too, work from home and have to be on :top of my game" or risk losing valuable clients. Since my dog passed (2) months ago I have struggled to maintain my edge in the business world. I just don't feel like doing too much. What I have found helpful is to keep a daily journal. It allows me to write out my memories in a positive way. Yes, it acts as a distraction and allows some respite from the negative thoughts that engulf me each day. Also, I reached out to extended family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. via the phone. Yes, that's right, I just starting calling people out of the blue to talk about my loss. I was pleasantly surprised that people were so receptive. This lasted for about (3) weeks or so and then I decided that I didn't want to disturb anyone with my grief. It did work very well during that time period. The support I received was phenomenal. Some people find solace in meeting with a grief counselor. Just some food for thought. The bottom line is that there are numerous things you can do to help yourself. Find out what works best for you. You will heal. It's just going to be an ongoing process. 

Wishing you much peace in your journey,

Jim
Jim Miller
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StephanieW

BorderCollieLover wrote:
StephanieW:

  I can certainly identify with your plight. I, too, work from home and have to be on :top of my game" or risk losing valuable clients. Since my dog passed (2) months ago I have struggled to maintain my edge in the business world. I just don't feel like doing too much. What I have found helpful is to keep a daily journal. It allows me to write out my memories in a positive way. Yes, it acts as a distraction and allows some respite from the negative thoughts that engulf me each day. Also, I reached out to extended family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. via the phone. Yes, that's right, I just starting calling people out of the blue to talk about my loss. I was pleasantly surprised that people were so receptive. This lasted for about (3) weeks or so and then I decided that I didn't want to disturb anyone with my grief. It did work very well during that time period. The support I received was phenomenal. Some people find solace in meeting with a grief counselor. Just some food for thought. The bottom line is that there are numerous things you can do to help yourself. Find out what works best for you. You will heal. It's just going to be an ongoing process. 

Wishing you much peace in your journey,

Jim

 

Jim!

I wish I could express the amount of gratitude I have for you dedicating the time to write to me. I sincerely appreciate the effort, thought and detail you included in your response. It helped me adjust my expectations I apply to myself in this situation and has encouraged me to think of outlets for my sadness as productive; and not a waste of time. That is a great gift to me, thank you so much for that. I found that talking with people I love helps a lot but I never considered a journal. That's an excellent suggestion! I think I will try that. The idea of writing my obsessive thoughts down makes me envision it as 'mental exhale'. I think that may bring me enough peace to continue my work. 

Thank you so much for helping a stranger. It made a difference for me. Let's both keep working hard. Sending you a warm November hug Jim!

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redgirlraven
I know just how you both feel. I lost my sweet Roary unexpectedly 5 months ago and the waves of grief are debilitating.
Can I suggest going to daybydaypetsupport.com and calling their hotline. I have found it useful to be able to talk with someone trained in pet loss which you can do on that hotline. My friends and family have grown weary of my grief. After a month or two they felt I should just “get over it already”. It has helped to have this site as well as the hotline to express myself.
AR
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BoxerMomForever
redgirlhaven, I am so sorry for your loss. I will check out that site/hotline. Is there a charge? I’m so thankful I have a place here to discuss this grief. Because only a few close friends are there for me.
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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Lu
Hello, I am so sorry about your loss. I also have haunting memories and it really helped me to distract myself as much as possible while at work so I could perform my duties without breaking down. I listen(ed)to lots of podcasts. Normally I listen to true crime, but I've been trying to keep it a bit "lighter" lately. Lots of NDE stories from Youtube. Psychic Detectives, things like that. Anything to keep my mind wondering. I also watched the Masked Singer- not a show I would probably normally watch, but trying to figure out the clues and guess who was under the mask kept my mind occupied enough to give my haunted mind a bit of peace here and there. I've probably been watching WAY too much Netflix, but it helps me to zone out. I've also been giving mantra meditation a whirl. It's helps to calm my mind a bit, if only temporarily. I look at Lulu's photos a lot to help keep happy images in my head and to overshadow the bad images. Good luck, I hope you can find some peace during this time!
lea
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redgirlraven
No charge at all. I found it helpful to speak with someone - I needed to hear another human voice. This site has been so deeply important to me as well.
AR
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StephanieW

redgirlraven wrote:
I know just how you both feel. I lost my sweet Roary unexpectedly 5 months ago and the waves of grief are debilitating.
Can I suggest going to daybydaypetsupport.com and calling their hotline. I have found it useful to be able to talk with someone trained in pet loss which you can do on that hotline. My friends and family have grown weary of my grief. After a month or two they felt I should just “get over it already”. It has helped to have this site as well as the hotline to express myself.

 

Hey Raven,

I'm so sorry we both have to endure this but I'm very glad that because we are not alone... we are able to help one another! I never considered reaching out to a hotline. That's a great suggestion, especially when it's particularly difficult to climb out of one's grief. I feel a great guilt not being able to cope as well as those in my family. I find this incredibly helpful and a relief from being a possible burden. Thank you so much for contributing that.

Admittedly, I am a bit angry for you having to hear, "Get over it already". From what I know, sometimes people who do this aren't equipped with dealing with trauma or don't know how to properly comfort someone experiencing grief. It gives this awful impression that they don't care or that you've been deemed taxing. It's unfortunate and arguably a lack of empathy. On the rare occasion it's this idea that animals aren't as equal value of other losses. I realise these are things you already know but ...it just makes me so frustrated for you. I sympathise that those are not safe places you can turn to and I hope you've been alright. Take special care of your needs okay?

Let's keep working hard to be happy and live fully. For Roary and Frinks. 

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Mistysmama
Blessings to Frinks

Yes sometimes it is just a matter of distraction.

It's awful sometimes, that we are here, having to get on with our lives when they are not here.

Sometimes I would just stop, and cry. And then a few minutes later maybe half an hour, when the tears dried up, would start again.

And then there were the days when my heart felt tuned into my girl, and I could feel love, silently and sacredly near to her, and it felt like I was doing that work with her and sort of for her.
Love does help if you can raise up a bit, feel that silent sacred connection, and then do the work with it.

I felt that when I was power-washing driveways, and once when I was painting a picture. And many times when I was digging or doing garden work. My heart just swelled and went out to her.
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer http://www.mistysblog69.blogspot.co.uk

Misty's life after death: http://www.dog2spirit.com
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StephanieW

Lu wrote:
Hello, I am so sorry about your loss. I also have haunting memories and it really helped me to distract myself as much as possible while at work so I could perform my duties without breaking down. I listen(ed)to lots of podcasts. Normally I listen to true crime, but I've been trying to keep it a bit "lighter" lately. Lots of NDE stories from Youtube. Psychic Detectives, things like that. Anything to keep my mind wondering. I also watched the Masked Singer- not a show I would probably normally watch, but trying to figure out the clues and guess who was under the mask kept my mind occupied enough to give my haunted mind a bit of peace here and there. I've probably been watching WAY too much Netflix, but it helps me to zone out. I've also been giving mantra meditation a whirl. It's helps to calm my mind a bit, if only temporarily. I look at Lulu's photos a lot to help keep happy images in my head and to overshadow the bad images. Good luck, I hope you can find some peace during this time!

Lea,

Thank you for the care and time you dedicated to me in an effort to offer me some relief. Your suggestions are motivational and incredibly helpful. I would have never considered listening to podcasts! This is so ideal for me because my eyes are usually busy bouncing around a canvas. This will likely keep me distracted from harmful thoughts but allow me to focus on my work. I'm so appreciative of this idea, sincerely! I tend to listen to music while I paint but I think a podcast would serve me more successfully in terms of keeping my mind busy. I'm very eager to try this. Thank you so much! I was very worried because I have a commission I wanted to finish this weekend. I have less anxiety about it now because of you.

I like to look at Frinks' photos too. Luckily that ritual is naturally beginning to replace some of the sad imagery in my mind. It's still very hard but it's getting manageable. 

Thank you again so much for taking your loss of Lulu and translating it into helping a complete stranger like me. Your thoughtfulness is valued Lea! Let's stay strong this season for Frinks and your sweet Lulu. Hugs sent.

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StephanieW

Mistysmama wrote:
Blessings to Frinks

Yes sometimes it is just a matter of distraction.

It's awful sometimes, that we are here, having to get on with our lives when they are not here.

Sometimes I would just stop, and cry. And then a few minutes later maybe half an hour, when the tears dried up, would start again.

And then there were the days when my heart felt tuned into my girl, and I could feel love, silently and sacredly near to her, and it felt like I was doing that work with her and sort of for her.
Love does help if you can raise up a bit, feel that silent sacred connection, and then do the work with it.

I felt that when I was power-washing driveways, and once when I was painting a picture. And many times when I was digging or doing garden work. My heart just swelled and went out to her.

Hey Mistysmama,

You've wet my eyes. The comfort you gifted me runs deep. I can't thank you enough for your thoughtful and caring words. I am made more full recognising that our companions have left their unique impressions on us and we are transformed into different people. I hope I am better for it but it is such a reassurance that I will forever carry that with me. That doesn't leave you. The love and memories and such. That said, I know you're right! My friend's heart is with me in a sense. Working hard, completing tasks and achieving happiness with him in mind does fill me with a strange motivation. Making my loss and love worth something! Even if that's finishing a client's request or doing garden work. 

That was a beautiful and uplifting sentiment. Misty was so incredibly lucky to be loved and appreciated by you. Thank you for helping me see what can be on the other side of grief and for sharing your experience. I hope you have a peaceful and cozy night. Many hugs.

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Lu
You are so welcome, glad I could help! Thank you for your kind words and good luck with your project. Hugs.
lea
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Gucci
StephanieW - I don't work at home as you do, so I at least have some of the distraction of being in another context. However, coming home to the absence of my beloved cat Sammi after work is never easy, even after almost 2 months of losing him.

(I read in another post to which you responded that you're from Ontario, Canada; I am as well!)

Now that the colder weather has arrived, I find myself grappling with ways to distract myself, especially now that it's so dark. It does have an effect on my mood, so I do my best to eat healthy foods, stick to a routine, and get out of the house and move. Music, and actually, comedy sitcoms on Netflix seemed to have a distracting effect for me.

I found it hard to sleep through the night for the first couple of weeks, but thankfully I'm able to sleep all the way through. I found it destabilizing at the beginning when I felt ambushed by waves of grief that were random and unpredictable. I'm usually able to compartmentalize very well, but losing Sammi, with whom I felt a special connection, threw all that out of whack. And that's ok.

My younger cat Mo (Moses) is subdued; there are no overt signs of distress, but I have no doubt that it's an adjustment for him now that the alpha cat is no longer here providing him with a certain kind of structure to everyday routine.

Sometimes all we can do is acknowledge how damn sad we feel...

The forum members support you and understand the grief you feel. I hope it makes a difference for you to be here. 

Sending you my deepest sympathies and a big hug. 


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StephanieW

Gucci wrote:
StephanieW - I don't work at home as you do, so I at least have some of the distraction of being in another context. However, coming home to the absence of my beloved cat Sammi after work is never easy, even after almost 2 months of losing him.

(I read in another post to which you responded that you're from Ontario, Canada; I am as well!)

Now that the colder weather has arrived, I find myself grappling with ways to distract myself, especially now that it's so dark. It does have an effect on my mood, so I do my best to eat healthy foods, stick to a routine, and get out of the house and move. Music, and actually, comedy sitcoms on Netflix seemed to have a distracting effect for me.

I found it hard to sleep through the night for the first couple of weeks, but thankfully I'm able to sleep all the way through. I found it destabilizing at the beginning when I felt ambushed by waves of grief that were random and unpredictable. I'm usually able to compartmentalize very well, but losing Sammi, with whom I felt a special connection, threw all that out of whack. And that's ok.

My younger cat Mo (Moses) is subdued; there are no overt signs of distress, but I have no doubt that it's an adjustment for him now that the alpha cat is no longer here providing him with a certain kind of structure to everyday routine.

Sometimes all we can do is acknowledge how damn sad we feel...

The forum members support you and understand the grief you feel. I hope it makes a difference for you to be here. 

Sending you my deepest sympathies and a big hug. 


Gucci,

Thank you for your kind and comforting response. It made my day much easier reading about how strong you've had to be without Sammi. I've realised how much truth there is in your statement of "acknowledging how sad we feel". Surrendering to that pain is strangely cathartic. I'm learning in some instances that it can remove an emotional anchor that would otherwise paralyse me. It's helpful. Your mention of routine, healthy eating and getting out of the house is important to me as well and it reminded me to adjust my priorities to hopefully heal more gracefully. All these things can lend aid and adjust my mind set when looking for distractions. That is paramount. Thank you so much!

I heard it's going to storm this weekend in Ontario so be very safe and try to not drive okay? Mo and you should curl up for the weekend with your favourite snacks and watch some movies! Mo is so lucky to have such a sweet caring person looking after him.

Know that you sincerely helped me and I am braver with facing this weekend because of you. Love sent, huge hugs and I wish us warm memories of our darlings Sammi and Frinks <3

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Gucci
Thanks, StephanieW. I hope you had a restful weekend, cosy and warm inside.

We were supposed to get snow this afternoon, but it didn't show up. Plenty of time for that ahead, as the winter deepens. 

You made a very important point about surrendering to pain. The impulse is to resist it, because we know it's going to be excruciating. But that only delays the healing process; at least that's how I feel.

I'm still taken aback at how intense the waves of grief are; they can swell without warning at any moment. It's a package deal, isn't it? We love so much, gain so much happiness from their companionship and spirit and unique traits, and then when we lose them the sadness will be profound. Impossible to have one without the other...

Peaceful wishes for you, and gratitude for the wonderful memories of our beloved Frinks and Sammi.
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